Hay fever in children
What to do and how to recognise the symptoms. Most people, at sometime in their life, will suffer from bouts of seasonal hay fever that appear every spring and summer. With pollen on the rise during the spring months and into late summer, those glorious sunny days might also be the catalyst that triggers a pollen allergy with young children and teens.
With symptoms including sneezing, eye itching, itchy ear and tickly throat, it can be difficult to differentiate from a pollen allergy and another allergy, so here is our guide to recognising the symptoms and dealing with it.
Causes & Symptoms
Hay fever is produced by tree pollen in the spring, and grass pollen in the summer that is carried in the air. All hay fever allergies ( along with all other allergies) are caused by allergens which produce antigens that tell your immune system it is under attack. This causes your body to react to help defend against the threat. Normally things like pollen, pet dander or certain foods should not cause the body to react as there is no perceived danger.
However, there are many type of theories on why we develop allergies, such as our hypersensitive immune system caused by stomach bacteria and food absorption. Therefore, most treatments are about reducing the symptoms and controlling your environment and foods rather than trying to cure
an allergy. Although most children susceptible to hay fever are over seven, it can happen to those younger. The main symptoms include:
- Eye allergies, itchy red and puffy eyes.
- Nasal discharge
- Itchy ear and sinus congestion
- Itchy skin
- Hoarse and tickly throat.
If your child is suffering from these symptoms during these months or after sunny days spent outdoors then they are probably suffering from hay fever.
Treating hay-fever with kids
If your child is displaying symptoms all year round then it is most likely not a pollen allergen that is causing symptoms and further investigation is needed. Pet dander, dust mites will also cause similar symptoms as these. It is advisable for all parents who have children who suffer from allergies to contact their GP who will guide them on treating with antihistamines or getting an allergy test.
If your child is suffering, then one of the easiest solutions is to block contact with the allergen. Pollen production is worse in the early morning and in the evening so it is better, if possible, to stay indoors at these times. It is also carried on clothes and skin so remove and wash clothes and wash the child before they go to bed. Keep windows closed at home and try to stay home on windy days. Antihistamines are used for eye and nose allergies and are prescribed over the counter. If your child continues to have symptoms (more than two days) or is severe, please consult your GP.
The information contained on schooldays.ie is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.
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